WERRIS Creek will celebrate its 100th birthday even further by hosting this year’s Group 4 Second Division grand final after fending off Kootingal in Saturday’s major semi-final at David Taylor Park.
The game was far from one-sided as both teams took turns to dominate ball and territory.
But in the end, the Magpies made more of their opportunities and won it 26-14.
The game didn’t start in their favour though.
Not only did they lose backrower Mick Clark to injury before kickoff but the Roosters scored first through prop James Kiddle thanks to a repeat set from a charge down.
Creek hit back when Peter Darcy was given the green light in the corner following a pass the Kooty players called forward.
The home side then hit the front 8-6 when Jason Smith crossed in the other corner when hooker Phil Beaton ran on the blind side and flicked the ball to the winger.
Stewart Porter than began to influence the game.
His grubber kick was spilled close to the Kooty line and from the scrum the veteran playmaker drifted across field and created an overlap for Steve Marin to score and make it 14-6.
It might have stayed that way at the break but two penalties put the Roosters in a strong position and Mick Dormer collected the try that made it 14-10 at halftime.
Creek had the lead but its second half began disastrously.
After giving a penalty while in possession the Magpies followed it with another indiscretion and Matt McCulloch used some footwork close to the line to sneak over for Kooty to put it up 16-14. Creek then compounded matters by kicking dead on the full from the kickoff and putting its first kick in general play over the sideline on the full as well.
Significantly, the home side didn’t concede a try in this period, although Anthony Smith almost poached one when he flew high and took a kick in the Creek in-goal, only to be ruled
After surviving that bad start the Maggies went back in front when half Cody Tickle ran on the last tackle and slid between defenders to score.
Michael Saunders added a penalty goal soon after to stretch to the lead to 22-16 and Porter even had a shot at field goal in an attempt to push the score beyond a converted try.
That shot missed but after some sustained pressure in Kooty’s red zone in the last 10 minutes of the game Porter sealed it with a try in the last minute.
“It wasn’t the best game, very defensive,” Creek coach Ron Dellar said.
“It was based on that.
“It was a battle but in the last 10 minutes they couldn’t make any ground.
“They were down their end and they were stuck there.
“No one was making any breaks and didn’t look like making any breaks.”
The Roosters will rue the fact that they didn’t score again after McCulloch’s try and the fact that they couldn’t get the ball out of their own danger area in the last 10 minutes.
“They beat us fair and square on the day,” Kooty coach Stuart Dines said.
“We hope to meet them again this year.
“We never lost too much heart.
“The first half was all right and in the second half we played well.
“They just got a roll on and were too good on the day.”
Kooty will now regroup for the final against Quirindi at Kooty Oval next Saturday.
Werris Creek hooker Phil Beaton gets a flick pass away in the tackle of James Considine and a Kootingal teammate as Andrew Sanbrook (back left) and Matt Penberthy look on. 040812GRA06
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.